Monday, November 19, 2007


Thanksgiving's coming this Thursday means at least two things--counting blessings and a three-day work week. With that in mind, this week's blogs will consist of three poems on the subject of thankfulness.

Or unthankfulness. There's an epidemic of the latter going around. If you're a parent, you've seen it firsthand:

"You don't really love me," wails the preschooler given only two cookies.

"You never pay attention to what I want," grumbles the ten-year-old served a healthy home-cooked meal instead of carry-out pizza.

"I have to do all the work around here," storms the middle schooler asked to personally put away the clothes Mom spent two hours washing.

"You treat me like a baby," growls the sixteen-year-old informed he is not going to join his friend on a two-month adventure hitchhiking across the country.

We "adults" roll our eyes at such childish selfishness--but we're not all that much more mature. We grumble because we can't dine on filet mignon every night, instead of being thankful we have more than enough to eat. We complain about computer hassles and forget to appreciate all the benefits of having computers at all. However much we earn, we want more money. If our plans hit the tiniest delay, we fume and sulk. Even among Christians, it's the rare exception who can adopt Paul's attitude of being content at all times and considering food and clothing adequate for life's needs (Philippians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 6:8).

And it rarely occurs to us, as we nurture our dreams of having everything we want with never a problem, that our complaining is in effect a claim to know better than God.

Human nature is never ever satisfied:
The one forbidden fruit is the one we eat.
If God gives us water then we ask for wine;
If He gives us manna then we just want meat.

Human nature is cursed with a deep discontent:
If it lives in a house then it wants to have a castle.
If it lives in a castle it complains about the rent,
And the fact that all the cleaning and the drafts are a hassle.

Human nature never lets well enough alone:
If it has food and clothing then it wants to have a car.
If it does have a car then it's sure to moan and groan
About gasoline prices and how high they always are.

Human nature never sees itself as rich, just poor:
If it has ten thousand dollars then it wants to have a million.
If it has a hundred million then it still wants more,
And it moans because its assets fall short of a billion.

Human nature thinks that it could do better than God does
At choosing when the sun shines and when it should be raining.
We should be very grateful that He doesn't trade with us,
Or we'd be stuck with listening to all the complaining!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking a lot lately about discontent and thankfulness. We grumble. We complain. We want more. We fume and sulk. It is epidemic.

As usual, Katherine puts it in the words I don't know how to find.